US swimming legend Michael Phelps, the most successful Olympian in history, is mulling a comeback to the sport ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, according to the president of the International Swimming Federation (FINA).

“We offered Phelps the chance to be a member of the Bureau (executive committee), but he told us he does not have time because it seems that he wants to come back in Rio 2016,” FINA president Julio Maglione told DPA in an interview.

Phelps, 28, retired from competitive swimming after the London 2012 Games and insisted that he would never seek a comeback, but lately he has been more ambiguous in his responses on the subject. He was in Barcelona to watch the World Championships — set to close on Sunday.

Maglione stood by the decision to ban the high-technology swimsuits that prompted a revolution in times during the period they were allowed in 2008-09.

“There was a terrible, almost dramatic, economic problem, given their price,” Maglione said.

The 77-year-old Uruguayan was re-elected as FINA president last week in Barcelona for a second and last four-year mandate.

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